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Increase Student Engagement with Poll Everywhere

If you are interested in . . .

  • Increasing student engagement and classroom interaction;
  • Facilitating peer learning and class discussion;
  • Assessing student learning efficiently on an ongoing basis;
  • Gauging student opinions on sensitive topics while respecting their privacy;
  • Identifying students’ background information and prior knowledge on a subject; or
  • Helping students recognize gaps in their own learning,

. . . then you will want to try Poll Everywhere (http://polleverywhere.com/).

Poll Everywhere is a web-based tool that enables you to gather responses from your students in real time, and seamlessly incorporate their responses into your class. If you have your students register their devices in a course group, you can track their participation throughout the semester.

Here are a few ways you might use it:

  • Facilitate live discussions during class. Ask your students a multiple-choice question. If the votes are split between two choices, ask students to pair off and debate the two alternatives, then have them vote again.
  • “Any questions?” After a discussion of complex material, ask students to use PE to submit questions. You can hide the responses from view, review them after class, and use ten minutes at the beginning of the next class meeting to address common misconceptions.
  • Review session. Create a ‘brainstorm’ poll where students can enter the questions they would like reviewed. Students can then vote on which questions they also have, so the most frequent questions will rise to the top of the list. (Yes, you can moderate the questions as they are submitted, so only those that are appropriate are made visible.)
  • See who’s prepared. If you’ve assigned reading or problem sets to be done as homework, put one or two questions into a poll and have students respond at the beginning of class. If you do this in the spirit of “must be present to win” and start class this way, you may even find that students arrive on time more consistently.
  • Engage students at a distance. Are you teaching in a distance learning (DL) classroom? Because PE is web-based, students on both sides of the connection can participate. Are you teaching online? Create a poll on the web and give students a one-day window in which they can respond.

Resources

NYIT. Poll Everywhere. NYIT Center for Teaching and Learning. Retrieved from http://www.nyit.edu/ctl/polleverywhere

Poll Everywhere. User Guide. Retrieved from http://www.polleverywhere.com/guide

Poll Everywhere. Video Guide. Retrieved from www.polleverywhere.com/videos

The Last Mile of Engagement: How to Share Audience Insights and Feedback.

Tip by:
Olena Zhadko
Director, Online Education
Lehman College
ozhadko@lehman.cuny.edu